Frequently Asked Questions

Pediatric Dentist Grand Rapids, MIChoosing the right dentist for your child can be a stressful experience. We are here to help! It is our goal to provide you with all the resources and information you need to make an informed decision for the dental health of your child.

Take some stress out of the experience! We have taken some time to list some frequently asked questions to help you along the way! If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact our office today!

Pediatric Dentist FAQ’s

When should my child first see a dentist?

This is probably the most popular question pediatric dentists get asked daily. The most common time to bring a child for their first dental visit is when their first tooth erupts within six months of the eruption of their first tooth, but no later than age 1. It’s essential to create regular dental habits as early as possible.

Does breast milk cause cavities?

Breast milk has low cavity-causing potential, but decay can begin when a child frequently feeds throughout the night. Wipe your baby’s teeth with a soft, damp cloth after each feeding to help keep them clean.

What should I expect from my child’s first dental visit?

Typically, on your child’s first visit to the dentist, the dentist will perform a gentle examination of the teeth, gums, and jaws and then apply a fluoride varnish. The dentist will also work on making your child feel safe and comfortable sitting in the dentist’s chair.

Do baby teeth matter if they’re only going to fall out anyway?

This question we hear a lot. What’s the reason for putting so much effort into caring for baby teeth when they’re only going to fall out? Baby teeth matter just as much as adult teeth because they pave the way for how teeth will form in adulthood. How you care for your child’s baby teeth can have a long-lasting impact on their adult teeth.

Should my child get braces?

Many children these days have braces, and if yours doesn’t, you’re probably wondering whether or not there is some requirement. Our doctors will evaluate at every visit if an orthodontic evaluation is recommended and discuss this with you. Generally, age 7 is the earliest age when an orthodontic assessment is needed, although many children don’t need an orthodontic evaluation until much later.

Should you brush your child’s teeth?

Yes! Baby teeth are essential, and taking care of them encourages good dental habits in your child’s life that will last a lifetime. Begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts, using fluoridated toothpaste. We will explain and show you how to do this well for your child.

Are X-rays safe for my child?

X-rays are a routine part of dental visits for adults, but exposing a child to radiation makes it a valid question and a typical concern for parents. Rest assured, Mitten Kids Dentistry adheres to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Our office uses digital x-rays, which are safer than traditional x-rays.

How do you change your child’s diet to conform to good oral health?

Food choice significantly impacts oral health, and the same holds for our children. Ensure your child eats a balanced diet to encourage excellent oral health. Limit their sugary drinks and snack intake, as these substances most commonly promote tooth decay. Children should drink only water between meals and snacks.

Should you consider sedation dentistry for your child? 

Occasionally, children are anxious about going to the dentist. We’ve seen this kind of dental phobia or anxiety; even many adults suffer from it. Sedation dentistry is an option to consider to calm your child’s nerves and provide a safe, excellent experience. Depending on your child’s needs, we have different sedation options, which our doctors will discuss with you more should they be considered.

What should you do if your child has a toothache?

Children rough house and play. If your child is school age, they’ll frequently get bumps and bruises that don’t require seeing a doctor. However, if your child complains of a toothache, you should try to set up an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible. You may consider over-the-counter pain medication appropriate for age, weight, and health.

How can parents prevent tooth decay?

As parents, we all want what’s best for our children, so we understand that you want advice on how to take care of your child’s teeth. One of the best things you can do is to demonstrate regular, healthy dental habits and promote the example setting the standard. Using toothpaste with fluoride is recommended and ideal. And, of course, don’t forget to schedule regular dental appointments for cleanings and checkups.

What is a dental emergency?

  • Significant trauma to adult teeth
    • If an adult tooth has a large fracture resulting in significant pain, or
    • If an adult tooth falls out from trauma, please call us during business hours. It’s essential to seek treatment as soon as possible.
  • Facial swelling
    • Call our office during business hours if your child has a severe toothache with significant facial swelling (cheek swelling). This can be very serious if not addressed right away.
    • A small bump (“abscess”) near the tooth is a sign of a tooth infection and generally does not require emergency treatment. It’s essential to give us a call during business hours to set up an appointment as soon as possible.
  • Trauma to baby teeth
    • Sometimes kids have accidents that damage or move their baby teeth. Generally, this does not require emergency treatment. If the tooth appears to have moved a lot or is causing significant pain, give us a call.
  • “Shark Teeth”
    • This is not a true emergency. If you’re concerned, give us a call. Generally, this is normal; the baby teeth will eventually fall out as the adult teeth grow. While rare, sometimes, it can cause misalignment of teeth.

Should I be concerned if my child grinds their teeth

  • Generally, no. Many kids grind (“bruxism”) their teeth in some capacity during childhood, and most spontaneously stop by age 13. The sound of it is often way worse than the actual impact on the teeth.
  • Our dentists will evaluate this further to see if there are any resulting concerns from grinding. While rare, grinding can lead to a wide range of dental problems depending on the grinding frequency, intensity, and underlying causes.

Questions about post-op?

More questions?

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To learn more about our Grand Rapids dentists at Mitten Kids DentistryDr. Brett, Dr. Grady, and Dr. Alex, or to request an appointment, please contact our office or call us directly at 616.942.9840.

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